customs QUERY RESOLUTION PROCESS
All telephone calls to Customs offices will now be routed automatically to the SARS Contact Centre (0800 00 7277).
This process has been introduced at SARS offices around the country in order to offer clients improved tracking and tracing of queries, as well as a single telephone number or point of contact, ensuring that your call will always be answered swiftly.
Customs clients are encouraged to follow the standard query resolution process for urgent issues:
- Call the SARS National Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277 (if outside South Africa, call +27 116022093), select option 4 and follow the voice prompts. You will be given a Contact Centre call reference number which will be used in all further communication with SARS.
- If the agent cannot resolve your query (first tier), they will refer it to a relevant Contact Centre consultant/team leader (second tier). The Contact Centre consultant/team leader will then get feedback from the Customs office (third tier) and will call/email you back with an update.
- If the Contact Centre consultant cannot resolve your query, it will be escalated to a Customs specialist (fourth tier). You will then be given further feedback and specialised attention will be given to your case.
Top tip: The Contact Centre adheres to strict timelines in terms of query resolution and you will be given feedback as soon as possible; additionally, all calls are recorded and documented. For status queries, the Contact Centre agent will have access to the same system as a Customs officer and will be able to track the status of your case in the same way that a Customs officer would.
If you wish to follow up on your query, kindly contact the SARS Contact Centre with your case reference number.
Please ensure that you include the following details:
- Your Contact Centre call reference number
- Your Local Reference Number (LRN)
- Your Service Manager case number (if relevant)
- Manifest number (if relevant)
Booking email addresses:
The following e-mail addresses should be utilised for inspection bookings, depending on where you are based:
Top tip: Customs clients who have queries about trucks being delayed at ports of entry are reminded that there could be several reasons for this:
- Firstly, clients need to have received a “Proceed to Port” message via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) before the truck can be sent to the port.
- Secondly, if the truck has been stopped for inspection, the process before it is released could take some time as a documentary inspection first needs to take place at a centralised processing hub.
- Additional supporting documents could also be requested by Customs.
- A physical inspection of the truck/vehicle may take place, further delaying the process.
- Processes of other government agencies (e.g. Home Affairs or the Department of Health) such as permits, passport control, etc. may cause delays.
Please keep in mind the timeframe needed for this process to be finalised before contacting Customs.